Simple MOT test checks to make ahead of time to reduce failure rate risk
The new MOT test will come into force in less than a months time, chasing how faults are categorised in the UK.
From 20th May there will be three new fault categories – Minor, Major and Dangerous.
These categories grade the severity of a fault found on a car during the test.
Any fault labelled as Dangerous means that it is a direct and immediate risk to road safety or has serious impact on the environment. Drivers will not be able to drive the vehicles until it’s repaired and it will mean an instant failure.
Faults that fall under the Major category refers to anything that may affect the vehicle’s safety and could put other road users at risk or have an affect on the environment and d must be repaired immediately.
Minor labels refer to something that has no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.
They should, however, be repaired as soon as possible, but cars will still pass the roadworthiness test.
Among the changes will also be stricter rules for diesel vehicles making it harder for them to pass the test.
Andy Turbefield MOT expert at Halfords Autocentres says: “What we’re seeing here is the biggest shake up of the MOT test in 50 years and we’d encourage all motorists to plan ahead to make sure they are well prepared.
“Our advice to motorists is to get familiar with the new items ahead of your MOT test to help avoid failure.
“Some of the new checks include under-inflated tyres, blown bulbs, worn out windscreen wipers and brake discs, plus any vehicle with visible smoke of any colour from the exhaust will be issued with a Major fault and fail its MOT.”
There is a number of simple reasons that cars can fault their MOT test, which could be fixed ahead of the test allowing drivers to pass first time.
These include faulty brake lights, windscreen wipers and worn tyres.
Drivers should make these checks ahead of the test and regularly service their vehicle to make sure these problems don’t escalate into an expensive repair.
Faulty brake lights can cause a car to fail its MOT
Halfords Autocentre reveals the Top 10 Reasons for MOT fails:
1. Brake lights
With the car’s ignition turned on, press the brake pedal and ask someone to check that the brake lights come on. You can also do this on your own by reversing the car up to a wall and looking over your shoulder.
2. Fuel and fuel cap
The filler cap needs to close and seal securely and your car needs enough fuel in its tank for the tester to carry out emissions checks, so don’t go for an MOT test with the car running on empty.
3. Headlights and indicators
Check all the lights work properly, including full and dipped beam headlights, rear and side lights, hazard lights, and all four indicators. New checks for May 2018 include reversing lights and daytime running lights so make sure they are working
Beep it to ensure it works properly.
5. Number plates
Ensure that both plates are clean and legible and check that the light above the rear number plate is working.
On a level piece of ground such as driveway or garage floor check that all four corners of the vehicle are level. Any unevenness may point towards a broken suspension spring that would fail the MOT.
7. Seat and seatbelts
Check that the driver’s seat slides back and forth smoothly and locks into position. Look for fraying or damage to the seatbelts and give each one a good tug to ensure that it pings back as it should.
8. Wheels and tyres
Check all four wheels and the sidewalls of the tyres for damage; bulges, deep cracks and gouges out of the tyres that expose the cords are all fail items. Put a 20 pence coin into the area between the tread; if the raised part of the coin is above the tread, the tyre is too worn.
Check for chips and cracks; any crack larger than 40mm will result in a fail, and any crack or chip covering 10mm or more in the area the windscreen wipers clean is also a fail item.
10. Windscreen wipers
Check for splits or perishing on all wipers, and check that they clear the screens properly when they’re used. Also check and top up the screen wash if necessary.
“Regular servicing is key to making sure your car is running safely and smoothly,, added Mr Turbefield.
“When it comes to preparing for MOTs always think – Lights, Oil levels and Tyre pressure, or LOT and carry out these simple checks once or twice a month at home if you can, but if you’re not sure where to start visit your local Halfords Autocentre.”